Best Used Car Web Sites – Recommendations

Best Places to Find Used Cars Online

used cars onlineOne of the best — and easiest — places to find cars for sale is online — on web sites that specialize in listing pre-owned vehicles.

Online used car web sites fall into three categories: 1) Non-dealer sites that sell cars listed by private sellers, 2) sites that only sell dealer cars, or 3) those that sell cars listed by both.

Actually, many of the so-called non-dealer sites actually have dealer cars, thinly disguised as private-seller cars.

Web sites with Cars from Private-Party Individual Sellers

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of classified-ad web sites that advertise used cars for sale by individuals. Here are reviews of some of the most popular sites:

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Best OBD Code Reader-Scanners

What is an OBD code reader and how is it used?

OBD-II code readerAn OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) scanner-reader is a good device to have for your own car or when shopping for a used vehicle.

When the “Check Engine” light comes on in a vehicle, the vehicle’s computer actually stores and saves the data about the problem that caused the light. The data is stored as a unique code that identifies the problem.

A Check Engine light indicates a problem that, if ignored, can cause one of more of the following issues:

  • Serious engine damage
  •  Poor gas mileage
  •  Vehicle performance problems
  •  Expensive repair costs
  • Emissions inspection failure

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Where can I find cheap car insurance?

Shop around for the cheapest auto insurance

car insurance ratesCar insurance rates vary widely from company to company, as much as $1000 difference or more a year — for the same coverage, same car, and same person.

The single best way to get the lowest car insurance rates is to request online rate quotes from multiple providers who are competing for your business. Using a broker site such as NetQuote.com lets you fill out one form and automatically get multiple quotes.

Even if your current company had competitive rates a year ago, their rates may have changed. So it pays to shop around and get free quotes from a number of insurance companies. Even if you are happy with your insurance company, you should check for better rates at least once a year.

It costs you nothing to switch to a different car insurance company that better meets your needs. If you switch, be sure to ask for a refund of any prepayment from your current company. There is no penalty for switching companies.

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Where to Find Cheap Used Cars?

Cheap Cars – Where to Find and How to Buy

cheap carsTo some people, a good cheap car is one that costs less than $10,000.

To others, an inexpensive used car may be one that costs $2000 or less.

We’ll tell you how and where to find the car you need, at the price you want, regardless of your price objective or budget.

Cheap car tips

Usually, but not always, buying a cheap car means finding an older used car– a second hand car – possibly with high mileage. Unfortunately, the older a car, the greater the possibility for serious problems and expenses that were not anticipated. Exceptions can be found of course and, with a little effort, good “oldies” can be found at bargain prices.

Most used cars are sold “as is” and come with no warranties or guarantees. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly inspect any car you intend to buy, and not take the word of the seller about the car’s condition. Also get a Carfax® or AutoCheck® vehicle history report. If problems are found after the sale, you will not be able to return the car and get your money back, even if the seller deceived you.

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Car Repair Insurance – Do I Need It?

Used Car Warranty. Do I Need It?

car repair insurance - warrantyMost people have auto insurance — from an auto insurance company — to protect them from the cost of accident damage, theft, and liability resulting from at-fault accidents. However the kind of insurance that most people have doesn’t cover mechanical failures, wear-and-tear, electrical failures, or any damages not caused by an accident.

These kinds of problems are typically covered by new-car factory warranties — for a limited time or for a limited number of miles. Most new-car warranties expire in 36 or 48 months, and 36,000 or 48,000 miles. Powertrain warranties which cover certain engine and transmission failures are usually longer.

Why do car manufacturer’s not offer warranties longer than 3 or 4 years? Because that’s when problems are most likely to begin.

People who buy used cars with no remaining factory warranty, or a soon-to-expire factory warranty, should consider a kind of car repair insurance to protect them from the high costs of unexpected repairs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your conventional car insurance pays for non-accident related repairs.

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Car Seller Scam Explained

Car Seller Advertises a Car Online – You Buy – Your Money Disappears and You Get No Car

[ If you are selling a used car and suspect a scam by a potential buyer, see our article, Car Buyer Scam ]

How the car selling scam works

car seller scamIt’s a common scam. Here’s how it works.

You find a car being advertised online on Craigslist, Autotrader, or other online classified ad web site. You like the car. You want it. The picture of the car is beautiful, the description is wonderful, and the price is unbelievably low.

You contact the “seller” who emails you details about the car and why it’s being sold so cheap.

By the way, the “seller” often has a woman’s name, which is intended to make him seem more trustworthy.

The seller (scammer) goes to great length to tell the story of his/her personal situation, a spouse’s death, a military deployment,  or other reason why he/she is selling. they explain how they are in a remote location (often military) with no phone, why the car is being sold at such a low price, how it will be “shipped” to you at no cost, and how your money will be “protected” by eBay, PayPal, or Amazon while you inspect the car, and that you can return it at no cost if you don’t like it.

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Best Car for Teenagers? Explained

What car is ideal for teen drivers?

cars for teen driversAsk a teenager what car they want and then ask their parents what car they prefer for their child. You can get some pretty different answers. However, you just might get some surprising agreements too.

We hear teens asking the same questions over and over again. “Which is the best car for me?”, “What car should I get?”, “What is the best car for a first-time buyer?”, and “Which car has the best reliability-safety-style-performance-gas mileage-cost?”

We will try to help answer those questions here in this article.

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Car Auctions for Good Cheap Cars

Public Car Auctions, Government Auctions, Police Auctions, Repo Auctions, and Salvage Auctions

used car auctionsCar buyers who are looking for cheap cars often overlook public car auctions, or dismiss them because they think the auctions are only for car dealers.

It’s true that there are dealer-only auctions, but there are also many car auctions open to the public that provide an opportunity to pick up good used cars for good prices — if you know where to look and know how the auction process works.

What kinds of car auctions are open to the public?

  • Public wholesale car auctions
  • Government surplus auctions
  • Police and law enforcement seized car auctions
  • Unclaimed and abandoned vehicle auctions
  • Repossessed vehicle auctions
  • Salvage vehicle auctions
  • Public wholesale auctions

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Car Scam – Car Buyer Scam

Don’t get scammed by fake car buyers

Attention car sellers:

car buyer scam tricks sellersA common scam by phony used-car buyers can leave you with you with an empty bank account or PayPal account — or a large credit card balance.

The newest version of this scam: The “buyer” offers to buy your car sight unseen at your full asking price, or more, and wants your bank account number or PayPal email to send you money for your car. They have an excuse for not being able to talk to you any way but by email — no telephone.

Sounds safe enough, but a “problem” develops (so says the scammer) with your bank or PayPal “not releasing the funds”. You are instructed to go to a FAKE PayPal, eBay, or bank web site that looks legitimate but in fact asks you for your account info, including password. If you do it, your account will soon be cleaned out — and you still have your car.

Another version of this scam instructs the innocent buyer to send money via Western Union to a “shipping agent” in a foreign country. The scammer promises to reimburse you the money in the “PayPal” deposit to your account.

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Where can I buy a good cheap car for $200, or $500, or $1000?

Is it possible to buy a car for less than $1000?

cars for less than $1000Buying a good used car for $200, or $500, or even $1000 is not impossible but it requires extra time looking, checking, and driving to find the jewels among the junkers.

Most cars in this price range will be older and have high mileage, and lots of wear and potential problems.

Age and high mileage, however, is not necessarily a reason not to buy. Many cars with high mileage are in great condition and can last many more miles before finally falling apart.

Many problems with older used cars can be fixed relatively easily and inexpensively. Problems with engines and transmissions are the most expensive to repair. If the only problems are things like hoses, belts, wires, brakes, or electrical equipment, these can be fixed or replaced without great expense.

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Used Car Guide – Expert Tips and Advice for Smart Buyers